Last time I drove to Jackson I had my very cute malamute with me. Since Rigby isn’t allowed on the trails in National Parks (no dogs are, it isn’t specific to Rigby)I decided to stop in the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway for a hike.
The Rockefeller Memorial Parkway is a little chunk of land between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. This hike actually starts on the Bridger-Teton National Forest which is accessed through the Parkway.
From the trailhead start walking up the ridge through burned lodgepole pines (from the ’88 fires.) The view back towards Jackson Lake and the Tetons gets better and better the higher you go.
Rigby, the baby and I only hiked a couple miles in since it was rainy, muddy and I need to get to Jackson, but the trail continues five miles to the Huckleberry Mountain Lookout built in 1938. Huckleberry Lookout is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fire lookouts lived here in the summer, keeping a watchful eye for fires.
The view from the lookout is reported to be breathtaking. You can see into both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The trail continues from the lookout and meets up with several other trails. If you wanted, you could spend weeks back there.
Watch out for bears. I’ve seen big Grizzly tracks not too far from this trail. I carried bear spray as it was fall and the bears are hyperphasic (eating everything in sight to store fat for winter), and I would recommend carrying bear spray regardless of the season.
Just the Facts
Getting there: 1 mile south of Flagg Ranch on Hwy 89/191/287. Turn east at the National Forest Access sign for Sheffield Creek and drive up the dirt road, through the campground, to the trailhead sign.
Distance: A moderately strenuous climb of 2,000 feet in five miles (10 miles
Lodging: Either stay at the National Forest campground, or spend a bit more for a night in a canvas tent, yummy meals, and horseback rides with Bedroll and Breakfast.